Sermon Notes & References

Built Upon the Rock

1 Peter 2:4-8

May 12, 2019

4 Coming unto Him, the ever-living Stone – on the one hand having been rejected (as worthless) by men but on the other hand, chosen and precious before God (as Judge) – 5 you yourselves, also, as living stones, are being built up: a spiritual house unto a holy priesthood, in order that you should offer up spiritual sacrifices, very acceptable to God though Jesus Christ; 6 for the Scripture says, among other things, ‘Pay attention! I am laying in Zion a Stone, the chosen and precious Cornerstone; and the one believing upon Him will never be brought down in shame.' 7 This is the precious truth, therefore, to you who are believing, but to unbelieving it is, ‘The stone the builders rejected (as worthless) is become the head of the corner', 8 and ‘A stone tripping up and a rock causing falling.' These people are tripped up, being disobedient to the word, something unto which also they were destined.                                                                           (RGH)

A. Introduction

    1. Relevance of the Church?

    2. Relevance of Jesus Christ?

B. Christ’s House & Household

    1. Its Foundation & Cornerstone

        a. Living Stone

        b. Head of the Corner

    2. Its Construction & Occupation

        a. “Church Universal”

        b. The Building Blocks

        c. Their Occupation

C. The Scriptural Evidence

    1. God’s Appointment (v 6; Isaiah 28:16)

    2. Contrasting Attitudes (v 7; Psalm 118:22)

    3. Disobedient People’s Destiny (v 8; Isaiah 8:14)

D. Conclusion

    1. Warning

    2. Invitation 

Endnote  1 Peter 2:4-8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Built Upon the Rock


A. Introduction

    1. Is the Church Relevant?

        a. before men, it may not be

        b. but what is it before God?

        c. that will depend on how the church answers the next question


    2. Is Jesus Christ Relevant?

        a. today’s passage shows that He is not so in the eyes of the world

        b. but that He will be before the true Church


B. Christ’s House & Household

    1. Its Foundation & Cornerstone

        a. “And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God,” (1 Peter 2:4)

        b. Living Stone (v 4)

            (A)    Use of ‘a’ and ‘the’ different in English from Greek – whereas they are used in English to show something as indefinite or definite, Greek has other ways of showing as ‘any, one of many, unique’

            (B)    here ‘the’ would be better than ‘a’ – He is the unique Living Stone

            (C)   “Stone” – or, Rock – is an OT designation of Deity

                 (1)    bedrock, not a pebble – example, Sudbury, Ontario

                 (2)    “For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God,” (Psalms 18:31)

                 (3)    “O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.” (Psalms 95:1)

                 (4)    Christ as the OT Rock – “… our fathers … all passed through the sea … all ate same spiritual food… and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)

                 (5)    building’s base: “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11)

            (D)   He is pre-eminently living

                 (1)    contrast in terms – stones or rocks are inanimate, without life, spirit

                 (2)    but used in OT of the Living God, in contrast to idols

                 (3)    John 5:26 – “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;”

                 (4)    John 14:6 – “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”

            (E)    stone or rock conveys His attributes as strong, eternal, faithful

        c. He is Head of the Corner

            (A)    four corners, but the other three measured from the one

            (B)    Christ is the One that matters

            (C)   He is the measure of righteousness; the God standard


    2. Its Construction & Occupation

        a. “Church Universal”

            (A)    Peter writing to Christians in various places in Asia, etc

            (B)    the together are one “house”

            (C)   in contrast to the various local churches which gathered there

        b. the building blocks

            (A)    “Believers” –

                 (1)    6 For this is contained in Scripture: “behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in him shall not be disappointed.” 7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe. But for those who disbelieve, “the stone which the builders rejected, this became the very corner stone,” (1 Peter 2:6-7)

                 (2)    “9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

                 (3)    note that our faith is based on concrete, historic events

                 (4)    the two key events for our salvation

                     (a)    his judicial execution – punishment for our sins

                     (b)    his resurrection – acceptance by God to justify us

                     (c)    “He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” (Romans 4:25)

            (B)    “Comers” – here in verse 4; ;but also:

                 (1)    28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. 30 “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”“ (Matthew 11:28-30)

                 (2)    “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” (John 6:37)

            (C)   “Living” – verse 5

                 (1)    “you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)

                 (2)    “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

                 (3)    “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

        c. Their Occupation

            (A)    which is ours

            (B)    Priests   

                 (1)    access to God, right to approach God

                 (2)    through our High Priest, Jesus, Hebrews 10:19-22

            (C)   Sacrificing

                 (1)    not the blood sacrifices of the OT – Christ has fulfilled those

                 (2)    “15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16)

                     (a)    praise

                     (b)    thanksgiving

                     (c)    good works

                     (d)    generosity

            (D)   Being Acceptable

                 (1)    it is only so through Christ

                 (2)    “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)


C. The Scriptural Evidence

    1. God’s Appointment (verses 4, 6)

        a. “Therefore thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.’” (Isaiah 28:16)

        b. “Behold” – an unavoidable summons

        c. “Chosen”– as foretold in Isaiah 42:1-4, 1 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed He will not break, And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 He will not be disheartened or crushed, Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”


    2. Contrasting Attitudes (vv 4, 7)

        a. “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.” (Psalms 118:22)

        b. Rejection –

            (A)    by human religiosity, by the builders : the Jewish religious rulers whose failed responsibility was to proclaim truth

            (B)    by the disobedient (unbelieving) crowds who followed them

        c. Establishment

            (A)    this it is implied was by God

            (B)    Jesus made evident (manifested) to be God’s standard


    3. Disobedient People’s Destiny (v 8)

        a. “Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 8:14)

        b. disobedience measured by the word revealed to them

            (A)    my friend David Eastwood’s commented on this subject, considering the judgement seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10 & Romans 14:10 in their context) is that after the separation of mankind according to whether they are in Christ or not, those in Christ will be judged according to the degree of revelation from God’s word made to them by the Holy Spirit.

            (B)    God’s word = Jesus’ words the basis of judgement

                 (1)    “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” (John 12:48)

                 (2)    “And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46), in reading of the wise and foolish builders

        c. disobedience brings blindness

            (A)    ignoring our senses brings trouble – the illustration of the famous hand surgeon, Dr. Paul Brand’s book, on pain, ‘The Friend Nobody Wants’.

            (B)    this frequent OT picture of the prophets’ effect upon Israel

            (C)   Jesus’ assessment of Jerusalem’s religious rulers

            (D)   so, such people will inevitably trip over the Person of Jesus Christ


D. Conclusion

    1. Warning

        a. if individual believers fail to live as if Jesus Christ is relevant

        b. then the local church is in danger

        c. and the Church as a whole suffers, its witness being damaged

    2. Invitation

        a. let us live, as Paul encourages us in Galatians 2:20

        b. so that to those who will hear, our message is indeed relevant